Monday, August 25, 2014

Essie - Naughty Nautical

Essie's Naughty Nautical is from their summer 2013 collection.  I picked it up this summer, after going to Rite Aid with the intention of purchasing Ruffles and Feathers from the 2014 summer collection and deciding I liked Naughty Nautical better.  It also made the list of my 5 favorite summer polishes in my YouTube video.

Outdoors, Sunlight

Naughty Nautical is a pretty blue green polish that has a very slight silvery shimmer to it.  I found the shimmer to be more noticeable in the bottle than on the nails.  In some of the pictures it causes the polish to look a little bubbly, but it doesn't come off like that in person.  Indoor light seems to bring out the blue in this polish more than sunlight.

Indoors, Natural Light

The formula on this is very good and it was almost opaque in one coat, though did end up needing two.  All photos are a coat of Nailtiques Formula 2, a base coat of Essie's Grow Stronger, 2 coats of polish, and a top coat of Seche Vite.

Outdoors, Shade

Friday, August 22, 2014

Zoya - Harper and Summer Nail Favorites

I recently put up a Summer Nail Favorites video up on the Makeup Miscellaneous YouTube channel and meant to post both that and swatches of Zoya Harper on the blog.  However we had family come into town and went on a short vacation ourselves and I never got around to putting up the posts.  I'll embed the video at the bottom of this post, but first want to show you Zoya's Harper polish.

Outside, Sunlight

Zoya Harper is one of three Zoya polishes I own, all three of which I purchased during Zoya's Threedom Fourth of July sale when I was able to get three polishes for just $12.  Since Zoyas usually retail for $9 I caved to the deal pretty easily.

Inside, Natural Light

Harper is from Zoya's Summer 2014 Tickled and Bubbly Collection and is the one that caught my eye the most when I was looking at the colors online.  It is a gorgeous bright pink polish that has both multi colored glitter and also a golden shimmer to it in certain lights.

Outside, Shade

The formula was good and was opaque in two coats.  Because of glitter at the tip of my nails I had a couple of nails chip quickly, but after repairing them with a little extra polish and top coat I wore this mani for 6 days.  I also wore it on my toes for a couple of weeks and loved it for that too.  I did use the foil method to remove from my fingers since it's a glitter, but skipped this on my toes and found it still came off fairly easily, just a bit of extra work vs a non glitter polish.

Outside, Sunlight

All pictures are a coat of Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus, a basecoat of Essie's Grow Stronger, 2 coats of polish, and a top coat of Seche Vite.

To see Zoya Harper on my nails in my YouTube video and hear about my other favorite summer nail polishes check out my Summer Nail Favorites below

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ipsy - August 2014

My Ipsy bag came yesterday and I unboxed it on my Makeup Miscellaneous YouTube Channel.  I'm not going to lie, this month was kind of a disappointment for me .  However, I still decided to keep Ipsy over Beauty Box 5 because if I average out previous months I have enjoyed Ipsy more.  Here's hoping next month is better though or Ipsy might be on the chopping block.  This month's theme was Beauty schooled.

I peeked in my Glam Room as usual, and I think knowing what others got made it an even worse month.  I think Ipsy needs to pare down the variety in their bags, especially since their Ipsy Match survey program doesn't seem to work all that well.

The first item I got was outside my bag in a separate cardboard sleeve and it was the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara.  Black mascara has got to be the most frequently sent out beauty subscription item, but fortunately the fact that this was an Urban Decay product (and a newly released one at that) made it a little easier to take.  I'll definitely give this one a shot and see how it works for my lashes.  The sample sized tube is .10 oz making it worth $5.50

Next up was an Absolute You're the Balm Lip Balm in Grape which is from Nicka K New York.  This highlights what I said above about bag variations because some of the other subscribers received tube style all natural organic lip balms that I would have been happy to try out.  The balm I received is a pot style (not my favorite) that's grape flavored and includes ingredients of petroleum, and aspartame.  It also has flecks of glitter, which is not something I want in my lip balm.  It does feel like it will probably be moisturizing, but I doubt I'll get much use out of it.  This sized lip balm is usually sold in a two pack with their green apple flavor for $5.99 which makes this single balm worth approximately $2.99.

The third item I received was a sample tube of the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refining Primer.  I am excited to try this out as mattifying primers usually work well for me.  It also has a slight tint to it that reminds me of the Benefit Porefessional, though I've only ever tried a teensy sample of that so I can't really say how the two compare to each other.  The swatch blended out quite smoothly, so I will definitely be adding this under my foundation for a while to see how it works out.  The sample is .25 oz and worth $11.25.

Also included in my bag was a very small Coastal Scents Forever Blush Duo sample.  The sample didn't have the colors listed anywhere but fortunately Ipsy's product page was able to tell me the shades are Fresh (the peachy shade) and Elegant (the pink shade).  These blushes seem very smooth and pigmented when swatched with my finger but the sample size is too small to get a blush brush in.  These blushes are currently on sale for $3.98 and Ipsy included a 25% off code of 'blush25off' for, so despite my disappointment with the sample size I do think I'll pick up a couple of their Forever Blushes to try because I was planning on ordering the original Revealed Eye Shadow Palette soon anyway.  Since the blushes have a full retail price of $7.95 I guess this 2.5 gram sample has a value of $1.99, which seems high, but I at least want to be consistent in the way I calculate the bag value

Finally I received a sample size Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil in #1001 Black.  This is tiny, like the size of my pinky tiny.  I know it's not a cheap liner at $16 for the full size but it still just seems underwhelming to get such a tiny sample.  Pencil liners aren't my favorite but this did glide on quite smoothly when swatched so I'll give it a try.  The sample is .02 oz but I cannot find the size of the full sized liner listed anywhere so it's difficult to know the exact value of the sample size.  I held it up to a few other pencil liners I have and it's about 1/3 of an average liner length so I'll give it a value estimate of $4.

The bag itself is quite cute this month, though was difficult to photograph because it kept wanting to roll over and hide the zipper.  It's a pencil case style design to go with their Beauty Schooled theme, and while it isn't exactly the best shape for my purse I'll be able to use it for travel and storage.

Overall probably my least favorite month so far with Ipsy.  I'm going to stick with them for now since I've enjoyed my past bags, hopefully September will be an improvement.  I did get an overall value of $25.73, so it exceeded my $10 subscription price, but still the lowest month for Ipsy since I've joined.  If you'd like to subscribe to Ipsy I'd love it if you did so using my referral link here.  Ipsy is $10 a month or $110 for an annual subscription and you receive 4-5 deluxe sample or full size beauty products each month.  My video unboxing is up on the YouTube channel and also embedded below.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Beauty Box 5 - August 2014

As I mentioned in my Allure Sample Society post, I decided that instead of upgrading to a quarterly subscription of Beauty Box 5 I would try out Sample Society in August along with my BB5 and Ipsy subscriptions and then choose one of them to cancel for September.  I really enjoyed my Allure Sample Society box, so while this wasn't necessarily a bad month with Beauty Box 5 I do think I'm going to cancel my subscription for the time being.  That said, I still need to show you what was in my August box.

I only knew what the one spoiler item was in my box, and that was the full size .22 fl oz Nanacoco Lipgloss in Carmel Latte.  I've never heard of Nanacoco before and am not sure where to find these glosses in retail stores, but did see a couple of online retailers when I searched in Google, including Amazon.  The Carmel Latte shade I received is a very neutral brownish nude shade.  These glosses retail for $3.99.

The second item in my box was a Style Essentials Nail Polish from their Touch of Teal Collection.  This polish comes in a 4-pack and the only place I found it was on Beauty Box 5's website.  There is no specific color name attached to this polish, but it seems to be kind of a holographic teal glitter in a clear base.  I love getting nail polish in my subscription boxes, so my only complaint about this would be the lack of color name.  The 4 pack of polishes retail for $7.00 which makes this single polish worth $1.75.

Next up was the La Fresh Travel Lite Facial Cleansing Wipes.  I've seen these given out in other subscription boxes before but never received them myself so this is a new to me product.  The wipes contain Vitamin E, aloe, and cucumber and say they are gentle enough for all skin types.  I use wipes like this all the time when removing my makeup so I'm happy to receive more.  This travel size packet of 8 wipes retails on La Fresh's website for $2.49.

The Fourth item in my box was the Roux Anti-Aging Hair Serum Leave in Treatment in a full size 4 fl oz container.  The BB5 card lists the serum as having vitamins A & E, biotin, keratin, and UV filters.  I'm interested to try this against my It's a 10 Miracle Leave in Treatment with Keratin and see how it compares to that.  It is certainly less expensive than the It's a 10 and retails for $11.99.

Finally I received a Pur~lisse pur~protect Essential Daily Moisturizer SPF 30.  I received this exact product in my July Ipsy bag.  I've used that sample a few times and it works fine as a moisturizing sunscreen so I'm okay with getting another sample of it, just not too exciting to get a dupe which is one of the reasons I don't want to keep all 3 of my current susbcription boxes.  After trying my Ipsy sample I also can't see myself repurchasing this as the 1.7 oz full size is $55, and I didn't notice anything about it that made it worth that much money to me.  The  .5 oz sample in my box is worth $16.17.  

The overall value of this months Beauty Box 5 was $36.39.  Not a bad box at all, though I did notice as I was unboxing it that several of the products were quite dirty and dusty.  Nothing looked to be opened or used, it was just kind of gross to pull out dirty items.  As I mentioned above I have decided to cancel BB5 for now though, it just isn't in the budget right now to get 3 boxes every single month, plus that increases the chances of duplicate products.  I decided to stick with Allure Sample Society also because it's more high end products and I think I won't end up with many similarities to the products in my Ipsy bag.  I will keep an eye on other unboxings of BB5 though and may subscribe again in the future.  If you would like to subscribe to Beauty Box 5 yourself you can do so on their website, it's $12 a month for a monthly subscription, but the prices go down if you purchase a quarterly or annual subscription.  Right now if you subscribe by August 21st you can still get August's box, which is a change to their usual policy of having to be signed up by the end of the previous month.  I did unbox this on my Makeup Miscellaneous YouTube Channel.  I've also embedded the video below.

Allure Sample Society - August 2014

In July's Beauty Box 5 post I had mentioned that I was going to upgrade my subscription to a quarterly subscription and commit to at least 3 more months.  However, before I did so I kept hearing more on Makeup Talk about the Allure Sample Society Box subscription and how it was improving.  I decided to give it a try this month in addition to BB5 and Ipsy, and then choose one subscription to cancel at the end of the month.

Allure Sample Society is a monthly subscription service that costs $15 and includes 5 deluxe sample sized products that typically seem to be high end products rather than drugstore.  The boxes all ship on the 5th and unlike BB5 and Ipsy they are shipped UPS, so the shipping process is much faster.  I'm not sure how many spoilers they release, but for August I had heard about 2 of the 5 products I was receiving and the rest were a surprise for me.  Currently all subscribers receive the same box, with the exception of color variations.  As with BB5 and Ipsy last month I unboxed this subscription on my Makeup Miscellaneous YouTube Channel and I've also embedded the video at the end of this post.

The first item in my box was a sample of Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Peony.  I've seen a lot about these lipsticks lately so I was excited to try it out and also glad that it came in Peony since that's the color I would have most likely chosen myself.  The lipstick squeezes out of the tube onto a felt applicator and applies much like a gloss but it is very pigmented.  I do think it's a little too pink on its own for my skin tone but I should be able to make it work when paired with lip gloss.  This 5ml sample is worth approximately $8.87.

Next was the Oribe Travel Size Surfcomber Mousse.  I used to use mousse on my hair all the time before I blow dried it but haven't done so lately so I'm interested to try this out and see how it compares to my usual routine of It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Treatment.  Oribe sells either a 5.7 oz or 2.2 oz size of this mousse so I'm not sure why they shipped a 2.5 oz size of this instead of the 2.2, but for value I'm going to go with the $21.50 for the 2.2 ounce size since it's so close to what I received.

The third item in my box was the Kate Somerville Dilo Oil.  I had never heard of this product before but I have tried a couple of small foil packet Kate Sommerville samples that I got for free and they were nice products.  As for face oils I've only ever tried the Garnier cleansing oil which I didn't like, but since this is a moisturizer it might perform differently.  I'm still skeptical of how it will work for me since I have combination oily skin, but I'll give it a try.  This 3ml sample is worth $6.50.

Fourth was the Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara in Black Ice.  A black mascara sample isn't very exciting for me but this mascara is different than others I've tried because it has tiny fibers that are supposed to help both lengthen and volumize.  I am interested to see how well this works and whether or not the fibers stay put.  It's also a pricey mascara at $33 for the full size which gives the 3 gram sample size I received a value of $8.25.

Finally in my box I received a Ciate Mini Paint Pot nail polish in Cha Cha Cha.  I've heard of Ciate before but don't have any of their polishes and I'm always excited to get nail polishes in my subscription boxes.  Cha Cha Cha is a neon orange polish but when I first opened it it came across more pink in the bottle to me.  Once swatched it does look orange, though I think maybe a neon orange-coral would be good description for this polish.  It went on pretty thin on the swatch stick so I think this may be a three coat polish, and as with most neons I'm guessing it would benefit from a coat of white polish as a base.  This 5ml Ciate mini is worth $5.55.

Overall I'm pretty happy with this months Allure Sample Society Box.  It's fun to receive high end products to try, and while I might be less likely to repurchase them, its also nice that if I do discover something I really like that I'll have tried it first before pulling the trigger on a high price item.  August's box had a total estimated value of $50.67.  I am going to continue to subscribe to Sample Society and in September's YouTube unboxing video I will give a more complete review of this months products.  My August unboxing video is embedded below.